Drake does not own the Toronto Raptors, but the rapper loves his hometown NBA team. Drake grew up in Toronto and has a non-ownership role with the team. Despite his involvement with the Raptors, Drake appeared to be absent from Game 7 between Toronto and Philly.
The Raptors announced their “Welcome Toronto” initiative back in 2018 which covers everything from theme nights to jersey designs which Drake played a role in planning with the organization. Drake was initially named the Raptors Global Ambassador in 2013, but his role continues to expand.
“Over the past four years, the Raptors’ relationship with Drake has always ultimately been about celebrating this city and the people that make it unique,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said, per NBA.com. “We have something very special happening in Toronto and Drake is a big part of that. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to continue working together to inspire and support young people, to showcase this great city around the world and to grow the game of basketball.”
Drake can often be seen at Raptors home games sitting courtside. Drake has made no secret about his ambition to eventually have an ownership stake with the franchise. Back in 2018, the rapper posted a photo in front of the Raptors logo with the caption “future owner.”
The Raptors Black & Gold “City” Jerseys Are a Nod to Drake’s OVO Company
Nike has designated “City” jerseys for each team and the Raptors black and gold look is a nod to Drake’s OVO company. As part of the expanded partnership, the Raptors and OVO pledged to donate $1 million over three years to refurbish Toronto-area basketball courts, per NBA.com.
“I think the key is always to grow, the key is always to evolve,” Drake told NBA.com. “It’s nice to have the uniforms and the fancy court and the merchandise and stuff like that, but what was most important to me was just the call to action. I think in this day and age it’s really easy to get on social media and talk about things we’d like to see change or things we think are wrong, and then there’s an opportunity when you’re presented with one to be able to do something about it.
Drake Tried to Recruit Kevin Durant to the Raptors in 2014 & Earned Toronto a $25,000 Fine
During a 2014 concert in Toronto, Drake commented on Kevin Durant’s free agency. Drake’s comments led to the Raptors getting fined $25,000 given his role with the team, per USA Today.
“Before we leave, I just want to show one of my brothers something,” Drake said, per USA Today. “You know, my brother Kevin Durant was kind enough to come to the show tonight and watch us. I just want him to see what would happen if he came to play in Toronto. Let him know what would happen.”